Opening ceremony of the Fifth East Asian Games
Red – an auspicious colour for any Chinese occasion – dominated the shores of the harbour this (December 5) evening when the East Asian Games came to roost in Hong Kong for the next nine days.
The spectacular opening ceremony was indeed unique. It used Hong Kong’s iconic harbour skyline as a backdrop.
The cast of a thousand that walked on water – the stage being set on a floating platform – comprised athletes and officials, mega pop stars, dancers, choir singers, oath-takers, a torch bearer relay that lit the cauldron and just about anyone involved in making sure that the 90-minute extravaganza went off without a hitch.
The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, thanked China’s State Councillor Liu Yandong and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Count Jacques Rogge, for officiating at the ceremony and said “a new chapter in Hong Kong’s sporting history has opened”.
“With over 2,300 top athletes from nine countries and regions competing, we will be celebrating the cultural diversity, friendship and indomitable spirit of our region,” he said.
The President of the East Asian Games Association, Mr Timothy Fok, beaming with pride, turned to where the participants were and said: “Enjoy your stay and enjoy the competition events”.
With bated breath all awaited the simple message of Madam Liu who spoke in Putonghua: “I now declare the Fifth East Asian Games open…”